CULTURE

Savvopoulos marks special anniversaries with Herodion ‘party’

« The show will be a pre-Olympics party, with many guests and surprises. I accept the honor of performing at the Herod Atticus Theater and I want to wish you an endless party and an endless summer…» Dionysis Savvopoulos celebrates his 60th birthday and his 40-year career this year, a good excuse for a two-hour song fest, the «Concert of Candles,» Savvopoulos’s first performance at the Herodion, which will take place on Sunday and Monday. «My career started in 1964. This year, in 2004, while we are all celebrating the triumph of our national soccer team and we are experiencing the Olympic summer, I said I would play at the Herod Atticus Theater for the first time,» said Savvopoulos at a recent press conference. «The Herod Atticus Theater is a kind of obsession for musicians, like the Epidaurus Ancient Theater is for actors. It is seen as a mark of recognition, you see it on your curriculum vitae and it makes you happy. After four sweaty decades, recognition has come to me, fortunately extremely delayed. You may remember other, much more important artists, like Karolos Koun and Manos Hadjidakis, who arrived at the Herod Atticus Theater after a wonderful delay…» This «song play for musicians, singer and one narrator» will include extracts from the song cycles «The Truck,» «Madman’s Garden,» «Ballos,» «Dirty Bread,» «Ten Years of Song» and many others. The program consists of popular Savvopoulos songs from different periods, enriched by other songs that have marked him, by Neil Sedaka, Elvis Presley and others. During the show, many older and more recent friends will give Savvopoulos their best wishes on stage. «I wanted to show them how to hitchhike, how to climb on to your own truck,» he said. «The concert is made out of my generation’s recipes, out of those 1960s excursion-goers who went from parties to demonstrations and from demonstrations back to parties.» «It requires faith, a lot of work and staying away from easy hits. That is what I wanted to celebrate in the ‘Concert of Candles’.» When asked about the numerous honors he has received lately (three books and now the Herod Atticus show), he replied that the singers of the 1960s started out with a bang and ended up in the museum. Commenting on Greek song, he said: «We are suffering from a lack of personalities, but that is civilization. Personalities come along, we can’t create them. Each generation leaves its own stamp on interpretation.» Savvopoulos is concept creator, conductor and director (along with Sophia Spyratou, who is also the dance coach) of the «Concert of Candles,» while the sets and costumes are by Costas Zamanis. SANDRA VOULGARI Tickets are available at the Hellenic Festival Box Office, situated at 39 Panepistimiou (tel 210.928.2900) and the Herod Atticus Theater Box Office, Dionysiou Areopagitou, Acropolis.